Since I was diagnosed with breast cancer over twenty years ago, I’ve been keenly interested in understanding the progress we’re making against the disease. What are the drivers behind breast cancer and other cancers? What can we do to prevent cancer from developing? How close are we really to finding more effective and less toxic treatments to save lives?

After a second diagnosis of early stage breast cancer in 2005, I completed the National Breast Cancer Coalition’s Project LEAD program, which trains advocates in the fundamentals of the science of breast cancer. The program prepares advocates to represent the views of patients in discussions about priorities in breast cancer research. Drawing on my knowledge from Project LEAD, I’ve served as a patient advocate reviewer on panels reviewing breast cancer research proposals for the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program and the California Breast Cancer Research Program.

Following developments in cancer research is both fascinating and frustrating. It seems that tremendous strides are being made in understanding the incredibly complex biology of cancer. Yet translating this knowledge into improved treatments or effective prevention strategies is even more complex and progress seems painfully slow.

In this blog, I’ll be sharing my ongoing journey to understand more about the progress that is being made in cancer research and treatment and my perspectives as a patient advocate. I look forward to exchanging views and learning from each other. Your comments are always most welcome and greatly appreciated.

I have a masters degree in business administration and worked for the federal government in Washington, D.C. for 30 years. I live in Virginia with my husband and our “lab mix” dog. I enjoy hiking, playing golf, gardening and reading.

You can read more about my breast cancer story here.

Lisa DeFerrari


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